First Prize Winner of the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, Finalist at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005, Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition (Calgary, Canada) and the 2006 Axa Dublin International Piano Competition, Italian pianist Roberto Plano has performed all over the world. Important venues in North America include Alice Tully Hall in New York City’s Lincoln Center, where he performed the American premiere of Luis de Pablo’s Retratos y Transcripciones; Severance Hall in Cleveland, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and others. He regularly performs in Europe – notably at Sala Verdi in Milan, Salle Cortot in Paris, Wigmore Hall and St. John Smith Square in London, National Concert Hall in Dublin, and at the Herculessaal and Gasteig in Munich. He has been a featured recitalist at internationally acclaimed Festivals such as the Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland; the Festival at Sandpoint, the Portland Piano International Festival, Savannah Music Festival, the Wassermann Piano Festival (UT) and the Newport Music Festival in the USA.
He has appeared with orchestras in Italy (Milan Symphony Orchestra “Verdi”, Rome Symphony), Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz), Spain (Valencia Symphony), Czech Republic (Marienbad Symphony), Slovakia (Kosice State Symphony), Romania (Oradea, Sibiu, Targu Mures Symphonies), Switzerland (Festival Strings, Lucerne), the UK (Young Symphony Orchestra), Japan (Sendai Symphony), USA symphony orchestras (Houston, Fort Worth, Spokane, Akron, Illinois S.O., and others), under conductors such as James Conlon, Pinchas Zuckerman, Jahja Ling, Marcelo Lehninger, Robert Franz, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jahja Ling, Enrique Garcia Assensio, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Donato Renzetti, Ari Raisilianen, Kerry Stratton and Gary Sheldon. In Canada he has been soloist with Calgary Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner.
Roberto Plano’s friendly and outgoing personality has made him a favorite for guest appearances on a number of radio stations, including NPR’s Performance Today, WNYC in New York City, WFMT in Chicago, WGBH’s Classics in the morning (Boston), WCRI (Newport), CBC’s In Performance (Toronto), BBC In Tune (London), RadioRai 3 Grammelot and Piazza Verdi (Milan), Rete 2 (Lugano). As a result of his success at the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition, he appeared in the film documentaries “In the Heart of Music” and “Encores” (together with James Conlon and Menahem Pressler) which was aired on PBS stations across the United States, as well as in Europe through the satellite channel MEZZO. In 2006, Plano was chosen to participate in the DVD recording “A Masterclass with Jean-Michel Damase”, filmed in Paris by ARTE at Salle Cortot; and together with Philippe Entremont, a second video project about the music of Mozart, broadcast by NHK in Japan.
As a teacher, he has given public master classes in prestigious University such as Indiana University, Houston University, Kent State University, Augusta State University, University of Mississippi, Utah State University, University of Dayton, the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Boston Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, at the Alberta Conservatory (Edmonton, Canada), at the Conservatory of San Juan (Puerto Rico), and in all the major cities of Schlewsig-Holstein, Germany, as well as in Paris at the Ecole Normale Cortot, in Taiwan, and throughout North America. During the summer he also regularly presides at the Music International Masterclasses in Portogruaro, Italy.
Plano was also named the “Best Ensemble Performer” at the 2003 Honens Competition for his performances with cellist Shauna Rolston and soprano Ingrid Attrot. He was also the winner of the “Best Recital” and “Best Performance of a Commissioned Work” prizes at the 2006 Axa Dublin International Piano Competition and won Prizes at the Geza Anda (Switzerland), Iturbi (Spain) and Sendai (Japan) Competitions (after having won First Prizes in several National Competition in Italy).
In previous seasons Mr. Plano made his debut at the Festival “Les Fêtes Musicales” in Biarritz, France, toured Italy playing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, toured Canada and the U.S. (Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Cincinnati, Forth Worth, Austin, Los Alamos, Denver, and New York’s Steinway Hall), played with the Vienna Concert-Verein Orchestra at the Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, and made his debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa conducted by Pinchas Zukerman. Highlights of recent previous seasons include Mr. Plano’s debut with the strings of the Berliner Philarmoniker in Italy, his debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, his debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and concerts with the Milan, Forth Worth, Calgary, Bakersfield, Glens Falls, Reading and Yakima Symphony Orchestras, plus new collaborations with groups such as the St. Petersburg String Quartet. North American recital engagements followed in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, New York, Illinois, and British Columbia, plus debut appearances at the Ravinia Festival (IL) and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (MI).
In 2011, he performed at SUNY New Paltz’s McKenna Theatre (NY) at the invitation of Vladimir Feltsman’s PianoSummer Festival. In the summer of 2012 he made his recital debut at the prestigious Newport (RI) Music Festival, and invited to return in 2015. The 2012-13 season saw him as soloist with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (NY) – invited back in 2015 – and return engagements with the Bakersfield S.O. (CA), and the Boise Philharmonic (ID). He was also Guest Artist for the 2013 Young Artist World Piano Festival at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, and invited to return in 2014. The 2014-15 season also included performances as guest soloist with the New Bedford S.O., Glacier S.O. & Chorale in Montana, North Mississippi S.O., the Arkansas Philharmonic and the University of Houston International Piano Festival in Texas. ...
Paola Del Negro
Born in Italy in 1979, pianist Paola Del Negro Plano made her debut at the Teatro Juvarra in Turin at the age of nine years taking part to the performance of the complete Piano Sonatas by Beethoven, a few months after she joined the pianistic school of Maria Golia, with whom she has studied for more than a decade. A graduate of the Conservatory "N. Rota" (Italy), she participated in several masterclasses organized in collaboration with the Ecole Normale de Musique "A. Cortot" in Paris, studying with pianists of the caliber of Nelson Delle Vigne-Fabbri, Boaz Sharon, Einar Steen Nokleberg and Ian Hobson. She received First Prize in over twenty national and international piano competitions, such as the Mozart Prize of Paularo (UD), the Prize ACADA - ENDAS of Genoa, the Prize "City of Alassio", the National Competition "City of Albenga ", the Dasinamov Competition in Lurisia (CN), the European Music Competition in Moncalieri, the International Competition "City of Casarza Ligure ", the National Competition" City of Villar Perosa ", the International Competition" Teleribalta " in Borgosesia, the International Competition "Camillo Togni" Gussago (BS), the International Piano Competition "Gran Paradiso" Locana (TO), the National Music Competition "Euterpe" in Corato (BA)…
She has recorded music by M. Ravel in the CD "Musical Encounters at the Castle", recorded and produced by Faber Teater at the Castle of San Sebastian (TO), in collaboration with the Province of Turin and the Piedmont Region. Very active in the chamber music field, she has collaborated with clarinetist Paolo Montagna and Emanuele Morazzoni, the pianist Alberto Miodini, and she was invited to participate, together with Roberto Plano, in a series of 4 hands concerts held on the HaapagLloyd cruise ship MV Europe as part of an Asia tour. Since 2011 she is Vice President of the Musical Association "Alfred Cortot", founded with the aim of spreading the classical music in all its aspects, with special reference to the education of young people, and she has been the Artistic Director of the Accademia Musicale Varesina, the concert series "The Schubertiades of the Lake" and "Note di Lago" and the Caraglio International Piano Competition for about ten years, until she moved in United States in 2016.
Her students are regularly awarded top prizes (more than 200 prizes) in National and International Music Competitions in Europe and USA. In recent years she also worked as author of music projects for the magazine Modern Italian School, the oldest Italian magazine dedicated to the primary school. In 2012 and 2013 she toured with the show for children "ChouChou", written by herself as a tribute to the composer Claude Debussy and the fantastic world of children.
She performed in Belgium (Chateau de Cheneau), in France (Salle Cortot, Auditorium Paul Langevin), in Italy - “Musica in Castello” Festival (PC), Salone Estense, Villa Pirelli, Villa Motta (VA), Turin Conservatory, S. Sebastiano da Po Castle (TO), Fazioli Showroom, Teatro delle Erbe (MI), Caraglio Teatro Civico, Filatoio Rosso (CN), Teatro Del Popolo (VA), Casa della Musica (PR), Alseno Castle (PC), Palazzo Bondoni Pastorio (MN)… - and she had her debut in the United States and Canada. Recently she performed in Washington for Senator Thad Cochran in a private event, in Chautauqua (NY), in Madison (WI) for the “Salon Piano Series”, in Savannah (GA), in Ottawa (CANADA) for MitBravour Concerts Series and with the Austin Symphony Orchestra in Austin (MN).
Paola has also worked as artistic director and music critic for several recording companies, including Decca (Liszt, “Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses”, Decca Classics 481-2479 – Artistic Director), Amadeus (Cécile Chaminade piano music – Artistic Director) and Brilliant (Smetana, Brilliant Classics 94788 – liner notes author). A double CD featuring the complete piano 4 hands music by Robert Schumann (recorded with pianist Roberto Plano for label Brilliant Classics) will be released worldwide in October 2019.
Currently Paola is Adjunct Lecturer in Piano at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Artistic Director of the Schubertiades of the Lake series and Founder and Director of PDN Piano Studio, Piano Academy and Press Agency. She lives in Bloomington, IN, with her husband, pianist Roberto Plano, and their three daughters Elisa, Anna and Sofia.